Friday, 12 December 2008

The Collingwood Football Club

"Heartbreak Hotels" is how yesterday's Herald Sun described the Collingwood Football Club's investment in 5 Melbourne pokie venues. The 'heartbreak' writer Damien Barrett focuses upon is the financial loss of $8 million incurred over 18 months.

The bad decision to buy the pubs was a certain result of Eddie McGuire, his board and his management who are not dealing with their own money going into a business none of them knew anything about. But this misses the point about the financial engine of their investment and what that says about the morality of the decision makers. The financial engine was the pokies at each venue.

What these men did was to utilise everything the Collingwood Football Club has stood for to make a dollar by luring Magpie fans into these pokie places inevitably turning a portion of their own supporters into pokie addicts. Evidence shows that it is the pokie addicts who return a disproportionately large percentage of pokie cash to the pokie operators. It is over simplistic but true to say that the growth in revenue from these pokie places would ultimately depend upon how many 'Pies fans became pokie addicts.

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